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A Master in the Making

A young Brazilian artist flourishes in the Cape’s art world—and far beyond.

Artist Cleber Stecei

Crispy Breeze, Oil on Canvas 20″ x 16″ by Cleber Stecei

Artist Cleber Stecei is perched on the deck of his Mashpee home, reveling in the wonders of the past 18 months: At age 35, he is represented by one of the Cape’s most prestigious galleries, Addison Art in Orleans. He paints weekly with the highly regarded Cape artist Paul Schulenburg, and is encouraged by other stellar colleagues, including Rick Fleury and Joan Brancale. He is living in a country that thrills him every day. And, almost as breathtaking, he has painted his sunny deck a shade called Cape Cod Gray, and he loves it.

Harvest Day, Oil on Canvas 12" x 12" by Cleber Stecei

Harvest Day, Oil on Canvas 12″ x 12″ by Cleber Stecei

“I never thought that one day I would build a deck in back of my house and stain it gray,” Stecei says, laughing. The artist grew up in Maringa, Brazil, surrounded by modern architecture and vivid colors. When he arrived on the Cape at age 19, he didn’t quite know what to think of his new surroundings.

“I noticed that everything here is historical, old, and gray,” Stecei says. “I felt a little strange. I didn’t understand that, everything so old looking.” He has come to love Cape Cod and was even inspired by its natural beauty to switch his work style from abstract oils to landscapes.

Stecei has found his niche here in more ways than one. Since he shyly presented a few paintings to Helen Addison of Addison Art in the winter of 2010, Stecei’s reputation as a landscape artist has been rising like a mellow tide that is still building. His work has been noted in several national art publications and his paintings are in collections countrywide. Stecei’s talent, age, and new presence in the market have thrust him to the heady upper echelons of the art scene—all in less than 18 months.

It is Stecei’s fresh interpretation of Cape Cod that draws many collectors, Helen Addison notes. “His bold brushstrokes and brave mastery of color define his distinctive style,” she says. Stecei’s sincerity—what Addison calls his “poetic response to the world”—leaves a deep stamp on his work. “He has integrity as an artist and as a human being,” Addison says. “He never strives for the limelight.”

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